ARTYFACTS: The Maids - Day 18

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Maids - Day 18

Two things I don’t get
1. Why rotate the roles? The Mistress is meant to be about 25, and much younger than the two maids. This is important in terms of the power-play between mistress and servants. In fact all three actresses are a little old for all three roles (meant to be 25-35) and in this performance, the mistress looks very much older than the maids.

2. Why The Old Ship garage? The one set is meant to be a luxury bedroom in Paris. Why choose a grimy old garage, where you can hear motorbikes and girls shouting the street outside? Unlike Pinter in the Town Hall and Kitson in The Argus basement, it seemed gratuitous. The Stage called the set ‘heady and intoxicating’. I suspect the reviewer was heady and intoxicated.

(Terribly unfashionable word, but I still like it.) As for the performance it was too shrill. The actresses, to be frank, seemed lost. There was no real sense of inhabiting the parts. This, I think, was true in all three roles. It became obvious in what was meant to be a powerful ending, which turned out to be melodramatically limp. To put across Genet’s absolute hatred of French bourgeois society you have to play these roles with a little more honesty. I’m afraid they came across as English bourgeois actresses playing the roles (if that was intended I’d really be impressed).


Post a Comment

<< Home